reaper sound editor tips Asbjoern Andersen


Interest in REAPER just continues to grow – but getting started can be a bit daunting, as there are just so many options and possibilities. Luckily, here’s The REAPER blog’s Jon Tidey with his favorite tips for making the most of this popular DAW:



 

In the past few years I’ve seen a ton of professionals switching to REAPER for sound design and dialog work. Asbjoern noticed this as well and asked me to share some tips here on A Sound Effect. So here are my 5 tips for making the most of REAPER, whether you’re just getting started or want to optimize your existing workflow.

1: Fix the file management

Without some care and attention, your projects and associated files can quickly become a confusing mess. File management is vitally important, and REAPER provides complete control over auto backups, file names, peak files, and more, but none of these are set by default.
Briefly, here’s how I have mine set
• Timestamped AutoBackups and ReaPeak files saved to a specific folder (away from project audio)
• Backup frequency is 6min
• Trackname[xx] format for recorded file names.
imported files will be copied to the project folder, which is called ‘Audio Files’ or ‘Media’ in the same place as the project file.
• Temp files (old backup and peaks) cleaned if older than 7 days via nightly scheduled Automator script

For details check out this article on Reaper File management.
 

2: Optimize zooming and scrolling

When working in a DAW you have a mouse in your hand for 90% of it. The way you move around the project needs to be intuitive and effortless.
The defaults for zooming and scrolling in REAPER make absolutely no sense to me. Mouse wheel to zoom makes sense in a realtime strategy game, but you’d expect it to scroll up and down the timeline in a DAW. Luckily that’s easy to fix.
Open the action list and filter by ‘mousewheel’ to find everything the mouse wheel can be assigned to. Filter for scroll or zoom and there are even more options. Configure it like your old DAW or whatever else makes the most sense to you. I go into the details of my setup in this video.

Video Thumbnail

3: Use your screensets

reaper screenset
Screensets are a fast way to save and load your optimized window positions for any task you’re currently doing. This is a lot like saving window positions in Pro Tools Memory Locations, but these are global and will work for all your projects.

For example, you could have one layout with the just the arrange view and your custom toolbars, a second with the mixer fullscreen, a 3rd with your dialog fx plugins floating. In this video I show the screen sets feature in detail.
 
 

Video Thumbnail

4: Get the extensions


What’s an extension? It’s like a plugin for REAPER that adds additional functions such as an envelope LFO generator; startup actions; and marker to bpm conversion tool.
There are two extensions that I consider essential: SWS S&M; and ReaPack.
The previously mentioned features are part of SWS, and it also includes a few hundred more actions that are useful alone or as part of custom actions.

ReaPack is a package manager for REAPER. What that means is it can search for and install package updates automatically.
color picker
A package could be LUA or EEL script, a JSFX plugin, extensions or other ReaPack compatible thing. If you have no interest in learning to script, ReaPack is a great way to start using them, just install 500+ in one-shot, then use them from the action list. Did I mention that these extensions and scripts are free?

sidebar: Extensions are a collection of functions and compiled code. Scripts are individual tools in non-compiled lua, eel or python code that use REAPER’s API. If a function needs a GUI then extension or script is the way to go.
 


Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • World Sounds Airport Soundscapes Play Track 100+ sounds included, 386 mins total $50 $29

    Welcome to A Sound Effect where you can find the largest and most diverse airport sound effects library in the world! This constantly updated library has nearly 6 hours of high-quality recorded sounds from 15 different airports. With over 24GB of professionally edited audio, you'll have the best sounds to work with for your project.

    Featured airports in this library:

    • Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, Greece
    • Changi Airport Singapore
    • Chiang Mai International Airport, Thailand
    • George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, USA
    • Hamad International Airport, Qatar
    • Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong
    • Incheon International Airport Seoul, South Korea
    • John F. Kennedy Airport New York City, USA
    • Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus
    • Ngurah Rai International Airport Denpasar, Indonesia
    • Noi Bai International Airport Hanoi, Vietnam
    • Penang International Airport, Malaysia
    • Roberts International Airport Liberia, Costa Rica
    • Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok, Thailand
    • Tom Bradley International Airport Los Angeles, USA

    Our library has lush sounds from bustling international airports with thousands of passengers to smaller regional airports with less activity.

    We've captured audio from all areas of these airports. You'll hear sounds from departure halls, arrival halls, inside private lounges, bathrooms, security check with rolling suitcases, beeping sounds from the security scanners, announcements in different languages and passengers waiting at the gates to board the aircraft.

    42 %
    OFF
    Ends 1560981600
    Add to cart
  • City Life Sounds & Ambiences Of London Vol 2 Play Track 101 sounds included, 330 mins total $60 $45

    Following the success of WW Audio's, 'Sound & Ambiences Of London' – here is Volume 2, with even more interesting and useable files for your theatre or film projects.

    Consisting of 101 great, and sometime eclectic recordings from the English capital, and over 10GB in size, this is a library every sound designer needs in their arsenal. It comes with detailed file names plus Soundminer, ID3 v2.3.0 and RIFF INFO metadata embedded.

    In total, this library gets you  5.5 hours of atmospheric London sounds!

    Sounds captured at famous London locations and landmarks, including:

    Bow Bells – Two amazing, over 10 minute recordings from the belfry at St Mary Le Bow Church  • The famous crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, made famous by The Beatles • Stunning overhead plane recordings coming into land at Heathrow airport • Christmas Markets • Crowds outside Buckingham Palace before and after the changing of the guard • Various emergency vehicle sirens • Various markets both internal and external, quiet and busy • Tube train journeys • London Underground ambiences • Various Parks • Great sounding famous London pub ambiences • Train stations • Room tones, including the infamous possible Newgate Prison Cell in the cellar of the Viaduct Tavern Pub • Churches • Crowds in some of London's most popular and obscure streets • General traffic sounds • North, South, East and West London locations • Hotels • London Aquatic Centre • The Royal Exchange • St Bartholomew's Hospital Grounds • Scrooge's Counting House Location • The Tower of London • The River Thames from Execution Dock • Pudding Lane – the location of the start of the Great Fire of London • Various Gardens • Underground car park • Tower Bridge • And much more – check out the complete file list below

    25 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
    Add to cart
  • Environments Singapore City Soundscapes Play Track 122 sounds included, 327 mins total From: $20

    Welcome to A Sound Effect's first ever Singapore Sound Effects library!

    Explore Singapore as you've never heard it before! This massive library includes ambisonic sounds recorded with the new Zoom H3 VR, binaural recordings with the Soundman OKM II Rock Studio and stereo soundscapes recorded with the Zoom F8n, DPA 4060 and several LOM microphones.

    The diversity of Singapore makes this library unique with lush sounds from busy highways, crowded food markets/ hawker centers in many different languages, neighborhood basketball games at night, skateparks, horse races, city rain sounds, the countries super efficient underground train station (MRT), and even loud military fighter jets and helicopters.

    Perhaps you're wanting nature sounds? No problem! This library features sounds from a variety of cicadas recorded at night and birds from the famous Javan Mynah near Mount Faber.

    With nearly six hours of recordings throughout Singapore, we suggest reviewing the metadata and discovering sounds you may not have expected!

    The library is available in 3 variations: A Stereo, AmbiX and special bundle featuring both Stereo and AmbiX files at a big discount.

  • Human The Counting Voice Play Track 167 sounds included $30

    A man with a neutral English accent counts from zero to one hundred. Then counts in hundreds to one thousand. Then counts in thousands to ten thousand. Using the various files you can concatenate the files to read any number between 0-10,999 (and beyond if you fancy some creative editing).

    Useful for all sorts of games, apps and many other projects.

    Add to cart
  • Add to cart

Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

Some interesting scripts that you can get with ReaPack:
• Airon_Colour Swatch.lua – A nice colour picker for tracks and items
• Breeder_spk77_GlueTools.lua – provides toggles for what happens when gluing items.
• mpl_Randomize Track FX Parameters

randomize_track_fx

Not an extension, but something that’s also really helpful is the VLC media player. Once installed on your system REAPER can use it as a decoder for videos and allows you to import more file formats. If you work with video you’ll need this. Be sure to get the 64-bit installer.
 

5: Be part of the community

REAPER has a friendly and generous user community. There are so many users sharing their knowledge, scripts, custom themes, effects, templates and more for free or by donation. The official REAPER forum is also where you should go for support, bug reports and pre-release testing. There are several good groups on Facebook, there’s a subReddit, and even a secret Slack team for professional users (have a guess at who you’d ask to get in to that one). If you need something, just ask! If you discover a great tip, share it!
 

A big thanks to Jon Tidey for his Reaper tips!

 

Jon Tidey is a freelance Micslinger in Vancouver and editor of The REAPER Blog. Meet him on Twitter / Facebook / Youtube
 

Please share this:


 


 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Bicycles Retro Bicycle Play Track 29 sounds included, 12 mins total $19

    A 1960’s styled bicycle riding around at a leisurely pace, wobbling to stay straight, walking along the sidewalk or being handled and chucked to the curb. Squeaky brakes, loud gears, and clumsy metal give this bike nostalgic character.

    Add to cart
  • Drones & Moods Tibetan Crystal Singing Bowls Play Track 93 sounds included, 43 mins total $20

    Tibetan Singing Bowls – The ancient brain entrainment methodology for healing and meditation. Tibetan Singing Bowls have been used for centuries for healing and meditation purposes. They create a range of sounds to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of diseased and out-of-harmony parts of the body, mind and soul. They are also used for sound baths, which is when participants lay on the floor and let the waves of sound from the Tibetan Singing Bowls wash over them.

    9 total bowls were recorded. Notes C, D, D#, E, F, G, A, A one octave up and B. A variety of bowl sizes were used from 8 to 12 inches.

    Add to cart
  • Want some excellent cartoony sound effects? BOOM to the rescue!

    We sought out and recorded the most obscure toys, instruments and, uhm – for the lack of a better word – “objects” to give you more than 3.000 boings, bleeps, farts, thwacks, squishes and squeaks in over 500 files, in short: we recorded any sound your animated-character-loving-heart could ever desire. All files contain extensive metadata to provide you with the fastest and easiest workflow possible. Each file contains multiple variations of a sound to guarantee you and your audience a non-repetitive SFX experience.

    Want to have an old-timer car honk its horn sternly at passers-by, before the tires screech off into the horizon? Your protagonist jumps off of a cliff by the sea and – suddenly in the air – we hear the tide roll back and she smacks on to the ground? Or your hero slips on a banana, swoops into a kitchen, metal crashes, bins rattle bins and, epic climax-style, the stove explodes! Don't worry about how that sounds. BOOM TOONS! SFX are here. We've got you covered.

    BOOM TOONS! SFX is the complete package so that you can focus on your stories and characters. You have all the sounds you could possibly need at your fingertips, ready for you to use whenever you want that spark, that glitter or that long arm fart which transforms your visually appealing cartoon into a complete and fun experience.

    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • World Sounds Airport Soundscapes Play Track 100+ sounds included, 386 mins total $50 $29

    Welcome to A Sound Effect where you can find the largest and most diverse airport sound effects library in the world! This constantly updated library has nearly 6 hours of high-quality recorded sounds from 15 different airports. With over 24GB of professionally edited audio, you'll have the best sounds to work with for your project.

    Featured airports in this library:

    • Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, Greece
    • Changi Airport Singapore
    • Chiang Mai International Airport, Thailand
    • George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, USA
    • Hamad International Airport, Qatar
    • Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong
    • Incheon International Airport Seoul, South Korea
    • John F. Kennedy Airport New York City, USA
    • Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus
    • Ngurah Rai International Airport Denpasar, Indonesia
    • Noi Bai International Airport Hanoi, Vietnam
    • Penang International Airport, Malaysia
    • Roberts International Airport Liberia, Costa Rica
    • Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok, Thailand
    • Tom Bradley International Airport Los Angeles, USA

    Our library has lush sounds from bustling international airports with thousands of passengers to smaller regional airports with less activity.

    We've captured audio from all areas of these airports. You'll hear sounds from departure halls, arrival halls, inside private lounges, bathrooms, security check with rolling suitcases, beeping sounds from the security scanners, announcements in different languages and passengers waiting at the gates to board the aircraft.

    42 %
    OFF
    Ends 1560981600
  • City Life Sounds & Ambiences Of London Vol 2 Play Track 101 sounds included, 330 mins total $60 $45

    Following the success of WW Audio's, 'Sound & Ambiences Of London' – here is Volume 2, with even more interesting and useable files for your theatre or film projects.

    Consisting of 101 great, and sometime eclectic recordings from the English capital, and over 10GB in size, this is a library every sound designer needs in their arsenal. It comes with detailed file names plus Soundminer, ID3 v2.3.0 and RIFF INFO metadata embedded.

    In total, this library gets you  5.5 hours of atmospheric London sounds!

    Sounds captured at famous London locations and landmarks, including:

    Bow Bells – Two amazing, over 10 minute recordings from the belfry at St Mary Le Bow Church  • The famous crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, made famous by The Beatles • Stunning overhead plane recordings coming into land at Heathrow airport • Christmas Markets • Crowds outside Buckingham Palace before and after the changing of the guard • Various emergency vehicle sirens • Various markets both internal and external, quiet and busy • Tube train journeys • London Underground ambiences • Various Parks • Great sounding famous London pub ambiences • Train stations • Room tones, including the infamous possible Newgate Prison Cell in the cellar of the Viaduct Tavern Pub • Churches • Crowds in some of London's most popular and obscure streets • General traffic sounds • North, South, East and West London locations • Hotels • London Aquatic Centre • The Royal Exchange • St Bartholomew's Hospital Grounds • Scrooge's Counting House Location • The Tower of London • The River Thames from Execution Dock • Pudding Lane – the location of the start of the Great Fire of London • Various Gardens • Underground car park • Tower Bridge • And much more – check out the complete file list below

    25 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
  • Environments Singapore City Soundscapes Play Track 122 sounds included, 327 mins total From: $20

    Welcome to A Sound Effect's first ever Singapore Sound Effects library!

    Explore Singapore as you've never heard it before! This massive library includes ambisonic sounds recorded with the new Zoom H3 VR, binaural recordings with the Soundman OKM II Rock Studio and stereo soundscapes recorded with the Zoom F8n, DPA 4060 and several LOM microphones.

    The diversity of Singapore makes this library unique with lush sounds from busy highways, crowded food markets/ hawker centers in many different languages, neighborhood basketball games at night, skateparks, horse races, city rain sounds, the countries super efficient underground train station (MRT), and even loud military fighter jets and helicopters.

    Perhaps you're wanting nature sounds? No problem! This library features sounds from a variety of cicadas recorded at night and birds from the famous Javan Mynah near Mount Faber.

    With nearly six hours of recordings throughout Singapore, we suggest reviewing the metadata and discovering sounds you may not have expected!

    The library is available in 3 variations: A Stereo, AmbiX and special bundle featuring both Stereo and AmbiX files at a big discount.

  • Human The Counting Voice Play Track 167 sounds included $30

    A man with a neutral English accent counts from zero to one hundred. Then counts in hundreds to one thousand. Then counts in thousands to ten thousand. Using the various files you can concatenate the files to read any number between 0-10,999 (and beyond if you fancy some creative editing).

    Useful for all sorts of games, apps and many other projects.

 
FOLLOW OR SUBSCRIBE FOR THE LATEST IN FANTASTIC SOUND:
 
                              
 
GET THE MUCH-LOVED A SOUND EFFECT NEWSLETTER:
 
The A Sound Effect newsletter gets you a wealth of exclusive stories and insights
+ free sounds with every issue:
 
Subscribe here for free SFX with every issue

One thought on “5 useful tips for making the most of REAPER

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.